Day trip to Gotemba Premium Outlet

Hellos! Haven’t been updating regularly because I was thinking of what to write. Not much happenings in life, so yes… not much updates. (._.)

Then a piece of good news came! Y-chan told me that he’ll be attending his company’s annual retreat and will be going to Hakone. (;_;) Knowing that I can’t tag along, I asked my friends if they’re interested to meet up for lunch or something. After some discussion, we decided to go Gotemba Premium Outlet. 😀

So we took bus from Shinjuku in the morning and was supposed to reach about 1030am (which is about 1½ hours ride). But to our horror…… there’s so much accidents on the road which the whole ride took an additional 2 hours to reach the outlet. Although we prepared some snacks in our bags, we were so hungry & thirsty by then that our stomachs didn’t welcome them at all. 😦

Upon reaching the outlet, we dashed to the food court to settle our lunch before shopping. And we gobbled down a cow…. Okay, sorry for exaggerating. A piece of steak. 🙂

I believed that it’s the weekend and everyone’s out to hunt for something because it was so crowded everywhere. AND, and… I finally bought the plates from Iittala which I’ve been aiming for months. Simple design and good for everyday use. ♥

One of the main reason for us to visit the outlet was to see Mt. Fuji at a closer distance. 😀 As snow has already capped the tip of Mt. Fuji, it’s almost the best timing for viewing.

Mt. Fuji is such a beauty. ♥

It’s such a waste that I forgot to bring my camera out with me. 😦 Only took a few shots with my lousy phone. *sighs*

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After we’re done with our shopping, it was about time we have to board the bus to go back to Shinjuku. We thought it’d be a smooth trip back as compared to the morning’s traffic. BUT NO! Oh my goodness. It was supposed to be a 2 hours ride back but because of a fatal accident, it took us 4 hours to get back to Shinjuku. Our hunger nightmares began when we were informed of the traffic jam. *sighs* My bum was aching after sitting on the bus for 4 hours straight. (T_T)

Lesson learnt #1: pack ‘real’ food and a bottled drink in bag.

Lesson learnt #2: go during weekdays.

Lesson learnt #3: able to bitch about anything in foreign language (other than Japanese) at your own pace.

P/s: Can’t wait to attend the Singaporeans gathering organised by the embassy in December because I get to eat chicken rice, satay and laksa! 😀

Ebi Tsukemen – äº”ノ神製作所

Ebi Tomato Tsukemen

五ノ神製作所 – えびトマトつけ麺 味玉入り

Last Friday, I went to Shinjuku to meetup with a few friends. It’s a mini Singaporeans gathering and my ‘sister’ in Japan, J-neechan suggested tsukemen (つけ麺) for dinner. Her recommendation can never go wrong because she’s a food lover. 😀

I was late for the meetup time because the train lines (2 out of 3) went faulty since that morning and I was left with only 1 train line to commute with. After I’ve met up them, we went straight to the tsukemen shop because there’ll be a long queue forming. Sure enough, there was about 4 – 5 groups ahead of us in the waiting line.

For this particular shop, you have to buy the food ticket (食券) first before queuing. As my friend recommended ‘Ebi Tomato Tsukemen’ (Prawn tomato dipping sauce with noodle – 海老トマトつけ麺), we took her words and give it a shot.

In Japan’s ramen / tsukemen / soba shop, they will place food ticket machine in replace of a cashier (i.e. cut down in manpower). So when the customer steps into the shop, the customer will insert money into the machine and choose what they want to eat. However, if you can’t read Japanese or don’t know what’s famous in the shop, just choose the option located in the top left-hand corner of the machine and it can’t go wrong. Take this shop for example, it’s famous for Ebi Tsukemen (海老つけ麺) and you can see that the option is at the top left-hand corner.

I’ve ordered ‘Ebi Tomato Tsukemen with Aji-tama’, Aji-tama (味玉) is seasoned egg. After buying the food ticket, we went out to queue before getting a seat inside the shop. The staff came and collected the food tickets and asked us about the volume of the noodles. You can choose small or regular. We waited for 30 – 45 minutes before getting a seat but the noodles were served within minutes.

The noodles were topped with basil pesto sauce & a slice of baguette. The dipping sauce was so rich and flavorful but not overdoing in taste. I can taste the essence of the prawn and the sourness from the tomato. It has a little Italian-taste when I ate the baguette dipped in the sauce and then topped with basil pesto sauce. I like it very much and would like to bring Y-chan to this shop when we go to Shinjuku some day. 😀

When eating tsukemen, the dipping sauce is very very rich in taste, it’s for dipping so please don’t drink it like it’s ramen soup. You might hate tsukemen because of it. What to do if I have leftover dipping sauce and I’ve finished my noodles? Tell the shop staff that you want ‘su-pu wari’ (スープ割り) and they will dilute the dipping sauce so that it’ll become a soup instead. 😀  [Note: some shops doesn’t have this service, so do keep a lookout for it. :)]